SOLD! for $5,120.00.
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Meyer R. Wolfe (Tennessee/New York, 1897-1985), "Vanderbilt Clinic," 1939, American regional realist lithograph depicting a group of Black patients with weary expressions in a segregated waiting room at the Vanderbilt Medical Clinic in Nashville, Tennessee. A narrow doorway shows a white nurse, seated at a desk and reading, in an adjacent room. Titled and numbered "Ed 25" lower left. Signed and dated '39 lower right. Double matted and framed under glass in a giltwood frame. Sight: 13 5/8" H x 19" W. Framed: 18 1/4" H x 23 1/2" W. Note: this is perhaps the best recognized of a series of approximately 15 lithographs created by Wolfe depicting lives of African Americans in Nashville during the Jim Crow era, and speaks to healthcare challenges the artist observed facing many Black Nashvillians. There were 25 prints in the single edition; the stone plates used to create this and other prints in the series are no longer extant. This particular image, along with Wolfe's "Red Eye's Hall" and "Tuesday-Ophelia" from the same series, are among the labor related prints and drawings in the Ben and Beatrice Goldstein Foundation Collection at the Library of Congress; "Vanderbilt Clinic" is also in the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Art and Vanderbilt University. Biography: Meyer ("Mike") Wolfe was born into a Jewish Lithuanian immigrant family, the second of ten children. He was raised in a low-income, multiracial neighborhood of Nashville just north of the Tennessee State Capitol, where he observed the social and cultural lives of his African American friends. As a teen with an interest in drawing, he became a protege of Pulitzer Prize winning Nashville cartoonist Carey Orr. In 1917 he studied briefly at the Art Institute of Chicago and worked as an illustrator. In 1918 he moved to New York and met Ashcan School painter John Sloan, who became one of his most influential teachers. Wolfe traveled to Paris in 1926 to train at the Academie Julian in Paris. While overseas, he met (and later married) the fashion photographer Louise Dahl-Wolfe. Meyer exhibited at the San Francisco Art Association, the New York 1939 World's Fair, and in Nashville, where he later returned to live. However, much of his later life was spent supporting and managing his wife's career, and as a result, many of Wolfe's paintings and prints were never publicly shown or sold. His narrative lithographs of African American life in Nashville during the 1930s are considered among his most important works and very rarely come on the market. His work is also held by the National Museum of American Art-Smithsonian Institution, the Tennessee State Museum, and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis. Sources: "Meyer Wolfe: The Star of All Things" (digital exhibit catalog for the 2021 exhibit at the Nashville Parthenon); Dr. Lawrence Wolfe; Robert Ikard, Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Summer, 2007.
PROVENANCE: Collection of a retired physician, Nashville, Tennessee.
CONDITION: Overall very good condition; not examined outside of frame.